Want to know what a recruiter’s typical day looks like? We’ve asked Emma Burnett, Talent Acquisition partner at Sonovate, to tell us more about her job and what a day in the life of a recruiter looks like.


Want to know what a recruiter’s typical day looks like? We’ve asked Emma Burnett, People Partner at Sonovate, to tell us more about her job and what a day in the life of a recruiter looks like.

What does your typical workday look like? 

Emma:  No two days are the same working in recruitment, whether you work at an agency or as an internal recruiter talent acquisition partner. The day to day consists of finding the best talent for the business, working with hiring managers to create recruitment strategy for their departments, having screening calls and developing our employe brand.

If I get time at lunch I will take my dog out for a walk, she’s a cocker spaniel and very excitable.  She often makes a cameo appearance in my Zoom meetings!

What are the most challenging tasks in your role?

Emma: One of the most common issues is finding candidates who have the right balance of skills and the right cultural fit for our organisation. I invest a lot of time in speaking to them, which helps me to understand their potential for the role and the company.

A significant part of my role involves recruiting for multiple business-critical roles simultaneously. A typical role attracts around 180 applications, I then screen call the candidates to give the hiring managers a shortlist of the top candidates.

In the People team at Sonovate, we work closely together, with each of us bringing their own experience and specialism to deliver against our People strategy. We also use each other’s social media networks to reach more jobseekers.

How much time do you spend on sourcing and reviewing candidate profiles?

Emma: Sourcing and reviewing candidates is an important part of my day. I need to make sure we get the right candidates in the right seats to be the best they can be for Sonovate. Depending on the role, this can take a few hours or the full day. I also prioritise based on what roles are most business critical and how quickly we need to fill them. We use Workable our ATS to manage candidate pipeline.

How do you keep a positive relationship with those who were not selected?

Emma: Handling candidate rejections is a delicate process. I believe that even if a candidate isn’t the right fit for a current role, they may very well be suited for other roles in the future.

It’s very important for us to offer a positive experience to our candidates, regardless of the outcome, so I am always honest and open with them. If they are not right for a particular role, I provide as much constructive feedback as I can. As part of the reporting, we do for our management, we run surveys to measure candidate experience.

How do you handle tricky situations? 

Emma: Throughout my time in the recruitment industry, I’ve always followed a simple yet effective motto: keep calm. This industry can be a rollercoaster ride, and if you don’t keep your composure, it’s easy to be overrun by the difficulties.

What keeps you motivated? 

Emma: The process of sourcing, interviewing, and recruiting the right individuals for our business is something I really enjoy. A highlight for me has been hiring over 75 new employees for Sonovate in just 12 months!

Beyond that, it makes me happy to see people that I helped to hire, develop and grow within the company. There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing individuals succeed, knowing that you played a part in their journey.

On a personal level, my biggest motivation is undoubtedly my son. Being a parent fills me with an immense sense of accomplishment. Another significant personal milestone is that I got married this year in Greece.

How do you unwind and recharge at the end of the day? 

Emma: After a day of work, my favourite way to relax is by spending quality time with my little boy. Whether we’re soaking up the sun on a quick walk outside or curling up together with a good book before his bedtime, these moments are precious.

Any final tips for those looking to build a career as a recruiter?

Emma: As someone who has been in the field for a while, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • First and foremost, resilience is key. You will face setbacks and challenges, but it’s important to stay focused and committed.
  • Patience is vital in recruitment because it sometimes involves working through long processes.
  • Being proactive will set you apart – anticipate needs, take the initiative, and always be on the lookout for opportunities.
  • Ultimately, recruitment is a field where you can directly see the impact that you make. So, give it your all, and results will follow.


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